Russia’s Largest Bank Joins The AI Race With ChatGPT Competitor
On Monday, Sberbank, Russia's largest bank, announced the development of Gigachat, a chatbot technology that competes with ChatGPT, a popular Microsoft-backed AI chatbot released in November.
Gigachat is reported to outperform ChatGPT and other chatbots due to its superior comprehension of the Russian language and ability to generate images, a feature currently absent in ChatGPT.
Initially, the chatbot will only be available to a select group of testers who can register through a closed Telegram channel.
According to Sberbank CEO Herman Gref, Gigachat is “a breakthrough for the larger universe of Russian technology” and can be used by anyone, including students and researchers, for scientific purposes.
As the utilization of ChatGPT gains mainstream acceptance, Sberbank’s move to compete with the program’s meteoric rise is a logical step. The bank has been noted for its substantial technology investments in recent years, and GigaChat is the latest addition to its tech portfolio.
The launch of GigaChat also reflects Sberbank’s efforts to reduce import reliance amidst Western sanctions placed on the country. The bank seeks to develop an alternative within Russia, becoming increasingly important as technology becomes more critical to financial institutions’ operations.
However, its ambitions have been dampened by the invasion of Ukraine and subsequent Western sanctions, resulting in an 80% decrease in net profits in 2022 after being excluded from the SWIFT financial transfer system and withdrawing from the European market.
Sberbank’s move into the generative AI space follows the lead of other tech giants, such as Elon Musk and Google, who have already launched their own ChatGPT systems. However, GigaChat’s introduction to the market marks a significant step for the banking sector’s adoption of AI technology.